Scared. Unsure. And insecure ideas crossed my mind on a daily basis.  Needless to say, I didn’t feel like myself.  The woman I knew only a few years ago was gone.  Only coming out in sporadic intervals within a week.  How was I going to get back to me? Where had Marti gone and why had she abandoned me? Along with everything else going on – this had become a necessary emergency.

There were days when I would be on top of the world. Life was good on the outside.  But something on the inside wasn’t quite right.  I was experiencing drastic mood swings, my patience was none existent, tears appeared from some foreign origin and I was basically staying in the house.  This certainly wasn’t in my character.  I was attempting to talk through this with friends. But when you’re a strong person, I’m sure you can understand how difficult this can be especially when everyone is counting on you to be their ray of sunshine, silver lining, and positivity.  So, that release that I was looking for I wasn’t getting.  I tried some of my regular coping methods and those only proved to help for a moment.  I tried ‘going into myself’ (this normally helps me recharge and recalibrate), writing my thoughts down and focusing on the big events of The Kid’s senior year of high school. But you probably guessed it – none of those worked either.  I had to get out of this funk. Strength

After some serious deliberation, I decided to contact a therapist for help.  My health was the main reason I sought out professional help considering the events of 2016.  Now, I’m sure you know/heard/read about the stigma of seeking mental health services in the Black community. “We don’t need professional help, that’s for white people, it’s a waste of money or pray about it.” These are some of the reasons they give for not getting help. Well, this was my response – I’m part caucasian with a little extra cash whose prayed about this and seeking professional help.  I was tired of feeling this way and I had to do something about it and Castlight was there to assist me.

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You can imagine the way I rejoiced during this scene from Insecure.

After finding the perfect fit for me (and that was determined by the tone of her voice when I spoke with her over the phone), I made an appointment.  Was I scared? Simple answer – Yes. As I walked into her office I noticed, there was no stereotypical chaise to help me relax and bare my soul, a few pieces of art to catch the eye and 2 red leather chairs positioned across from each other. Taking a seat was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  In the first session, we identified several areas within my being that I had never acknowledged or even knew about. At the end of the session, she gave a “prescription.”  This wasn’t medicine in the literal sense.  These were the things I needed to do before I saw her again to get my ideas and thoughts lined up to assist with my healing/treatment.  Before I walked out the door we scheduled my next appointment.

With every passing interaction, I could feel myself getting better.  It was beyond psychological.  I was rediscovering myself all over again.  They say “7 is the number of completion” and the last time I went looking for me was exactly 7 years ago.  I was in mourning.  A bereavement period for the younger Marti. The stoic, idgaf, social introvert, let’s have a good time, solo travel, football mom Marti.  Changes were happening all around me and I had to accept my place in all of it.  My kid was an adult to a point and I was anxious about his next steps.  There was a lot of movement going on at work.  I felt stuck due to aging parents.  I’m technically being given a 2nd wind.  My relationships weren’t the same. I needed to find and do the things a more mature Marti wanted to do.  And due to me not wanting to hurt any feelings, be viewed as selfish or revert back to the person I was 7 years ago, I was mentally fighting everything.  My worth was being re-evaluated.  New Marti needed me to love her as much as I loved the one from days gone.

I started to slow down and process/unpack things more carefully.  What I didn’t realize was I wasn’t letting go of everything.  Some traits, behaviors, and ideas would remain while others faded and that’s okay.  I was still in here I just had to embrace the new me in all its entirety. Honestly, I have noticed a change in myself since the therapy began. I’m not afraid of my thoughts and sharing them (even if that means I need to finesse the delivery.)

I went back and forth about posting this but I said: “wth this is my life.” Maybe my journey will help someone seek out the help they feel they need. Within this post, you will find a few links with additional information. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

My goals in life include staying healthy body, mind and spirit.  I attempt to make it to the gym 3x a week.  My current eating patterns can be better.  Lord knows I try to keep my spirit filled with faith and positivity.  However, with everything I do my health ended up on the countdown again his year.

The year started off strong.  The distance of the gym from my home kept causing me grief due to the drive and traffic.  I was eating properly and appeared to be maintaining my new 132 pound body well.  It felt good to be at my heaviest weight in my life but not too different from what I’m accustomed.  My mother even had the nerve to say I was “getting wide.” Say WHAT?  I was feeling great and I’m sure it was okay with the Mista because he notices everything but never said a word. 35

After the issues discussed in the previous post started, I completely turned in to myself and really didn’t give any notice to my health.  From the outside I was fine.  However, I knew the real deal.  Over the course of 3 months I lost 9 lbs.  It was gradual and I was noticing the difference by how my clothes fit me.  I began to hide in dresses and skirts.  The stress had become too much and I wasn’t eating, sleeping or exercising as I had only a short while ago.  This is the side effect of stress for me.  I knew what I needed to do.

I’d like to believe I’m as healthy as a horse.  No smoking, illegal drugs, sleep and proper nutrition have strengthened this idea in my mind.  Then I reached out to my doctor for a visit to see if something else was going on internally.  Of course, this was my thought before I owned up to the stress I was suppressing.  I informed you that I was diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency.  My concern about my weight wasn’t ignored but they tried to talk me out of wanting my additional pounds back because I was at a healthy weight of 125.  I had gained a few lbs back but it wasn’t enough for me.  They tried a new formula for my appetite pill but it didn’t work because I was still skipping out on meals.  Something had to change.  A prescription for something to take orally was given but it just made me sick to the stomach and I stopped taking it.  This was something I would have to manage on my own.

In December, I experienced a strange occurrence for the third time in my life within one month – a TIA.  I didn’t know what it was but at the advice of co-workers, I went to the emergency room to get more info.  They kept telling me I was too young for this to happen to me and kept asking me if I was stressing.  My lips repeated no but my mind’s wheels were spinning to find out the root of my condition.  After several exams, I was discharged and given orders to follow up with my primary care physician and the hospital neurology team.  This was a pretty big blow to my confidence and once again I went into myself in fear of disappointment.  I set my appointment and have been doing an ugly dance with my doctor’s office to be seen by the doctor.  They have no idea this will be the last time I visit their office.  I’m in search for a new PCP.

Over the last couple weeks, I have been working to rid myself of the stress and stop worrying about things that are completely out of my control.  I have not had another episode.  I know all of the areas I need to correct so I can get back into my best possible shape and health.  This includes but may not be limited to sticking with my gym schedule/changing gyms, doing meal prep to secure I eat as needed and begin to communicate my feeling more frequently than holding it inside.  I will come back to you after my appointments to give you an update on my status.

Meanwhile, I feel great.